Summer

I have the day off. The kids are in school/ day care. I dropped them off and then met friend J for a run around the lakes. One hour of running the terrain trails through the woods and around two lakes on the mountain we live by. Talking and laughing while running hills and pushing through. The reward afterwards is jumping in the lake. A morning that brings so much energy, life is beautiful.

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Skärgårdsmilen

I signed up for Skärgårdsmilen 10k a while back, not knowing much about it. The start was on Hönö, an island you can reach by ferry in the northern part of the Göteborg coast.
The weather was perfect, and I do believe this must be one of the most beautiful races in the world! It was well organized (from parking, to changing rooms, bag drop offs etc). Not a cloud in the sky, just perfect blue spring sky and the sun shining bright and clear. 10c by the start was warmer than my mid-may race last year;)
I finnished in 52.10 and was ok with that, still having a goal of sub-50 for a 10k.

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On the ferry

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The view from the start

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Waiting for the start

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Beautiful! Crossing this bridge was eating energy, we crossed it twice.

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I love the Swedish west coast!

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Water and bananas after finnishing.

Gamla Göteborgsvarvet

Last Saturday there was a paced training half marathon. The route was the original Göteborgsvarvet as it was the first year it was run in 1980. Back then a few hundred ran, now Göteborgsvarvet is the largest half marathon in the world. This year over 70,000 people will run the weekend of May 18.
So, last Saturday was paced at 6.30min per km. About 600 showed up to run the half at 8am. The weather was no fun with fog and light rain and 1c. But the race itself was SO much fun. I ran with a running friend and we talked the whole way around and laughed and had fun. The km just went by and when we were at 18km, we just could not believe how fast the timehad gone by. Next thing we were at 21k, grabbed some chocolate and water and headed for sauna, cold swim and hot tub. By 11.30 am we were heading back home ready to start the rest of the day!

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Breakfast, coffee and magnesium

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About to cross Älvsborgsbron.

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Happy faces:)

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Fun part: running a half marathon partly through a mall (Nordstan)

Awesomly Awesome Spring Day

We are back home. The trip back went just fine, the kids were great again(?!) despite having to get up at 3.45am to go to the airport for an early flight!

We came home to nice beautiful spring weather. A 14k run with a friend this morning through the forrest and around the lakes where we live was a great start of the day. Vince had a friend over for a bit and then we went for a long walk in the great weather.

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In a tree house with a friend

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Both kids are convinced a bear lives here.

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On top of the mountain

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Calling us to tell us he found a bear.
Not really, his immagination is vivid to say the least…

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Eds in action.

School Thoughts

Yesterday I had an appointment with Vincent’s teacher. It was one of those meetings I think (assume) it is easiest to picture yourself in if you have a child with special needs. It was one of those eye openers or IRL experiences you get every so often when you realize how much your child does not know. It kind of hits you and the physical pain is real:
-Crap, do 6 year olds know THAT much????
I am not trying to compare, but it is pretty impossible not to compare. My issue is not with what the other kids know or what Vincent does not know. It is neither with the school or with the teachers. My issue is within me.

I am extremely proud of Vincent and how he is developing.
I am extremely proud of everything he knows.
I am extremely proud of how mature he is becoming and how much he is his own person.
I am extremely proud of how he has made little friends an big friends.
I am extremely proud of him, just they way he is.

What I am scared of is that Vincent will not have the best ability to learn for HIM. I believe Vincent will learn a lot in school. But the struggle will be to find the Vincent-motivators that will challange him just right. If he does not want to do the work it is going to be tough,close to impossible. But if they can find the key to teaching him in a way that captures his interest I fully believe his potential is significantly higher.
I know that the more time we as parents spend with him working on homework and such, the better equipped he will be for his adult life. I also realize that there is a breaking point where the study effort is not worth it, the cost of other life aspects will be too high. Where that breaking point is, time will tell.

So I thought and my mind twisted and turned. And then I talked to the best people in the world. My bestest friends with the smartest of takes on it. Actually all with ‘only’ so called normal children. And I felt a lot calmer and relaxed and less stressed and no longer so scared and sad.

When I picked up Vince from school today I was told he had a great day. He participated all day and he did excellent in gym classes. He waited in line and took turns and walked to the cafeteria just fine. He played with the boys in his class for recess and was on the soccer field with the bigger kids too.
I talked to his assistant about how she feels she is equipped for first grade next year. She understood my concerns and we came up with some good things to bring into our next meeting in prepping for 1st grade.

The school road ahead of us is long and I have no clue in what direction we will end up. We are starting off in our neighborhood school, and so far so good. Vince enjoys going to school. Vince is comfortable there and he likes his assistant. I like his assistant. I feel we are being listened to and communication is working. And most important of all: Vincent is happy!

 

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Vinceling

The snow finally disappeared last week.

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Sunday afternoon, Vince sitting on the wall by our house. It was colder than it looks.

Tonight Mr B did homework with Vince, while I had the luxury of going for a run with a friend.

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Homework: the letter H. He has drawn a rabbit (HASE in German or HARE in Swedish). The second part are words that start with H (really?) that I wrote down but Vince helped find. And the last part is practicing writing H and h.

And yeah, as we started running the snow start falling again. Now it is white outside again…

More About Living in Sweden

Like the previous post said, we have now been in Sweden for nine months. A little background: I moved to Atlanta for a year in 1996, then I was back in Sweden fall 97. In January 1998, I went to college at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, HI. I transferred to Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA in fall -99 and graduated in 2001. In 2003, I moved to Austria for work, but was recruited to Detroit, MI in 2004. In 2006 we moved to Graz, Austria where we stayed till April 2012.

So living in Sweden again is quite different I would say:
-It is cold. No shit, you say! I never understood the argument whenever I have said “I am cold” wherever I have lived people exclaim: what? You are from Sweden. Yes I am, and I am still cold!
-there is no post office here. That went out of business I think. You mail letters, drop off/pick up packages at your local grocery store.
-people bump into you all the time in the street without saying sorry. In fact they do not even realize they hit you with a bag or whatever.
-do not small talk to people you do not know. Think waiting rooms, bus, train, shop etc. People will take you for crazy.
-alcohol is still monopolized and can only be bought in certain stores with pretty strict hours. Hence all crazy Swedes getting drunk as skunks whenever abroad.
– if someone would have, lets say, their own schnapps brewery machine, that would be considered illegal. Just saying.
-Swedes are absolutely sun crazy. It can be -20c and the sun is out, people will sit out to tan. To our defense, the sun days are few… And in wintertime there is a lot of darkness as Sweden is so far north.
-Friday nights are holy and unless you spend it with your family eating Tacos followed by chips, you are most likely not Swedish.
-Fika, the famous coffee/cake break happens at least three times a day. Since September I drink coffee daily, before living in Sweden I had coffee once a year or so.
-there is no “ding-dong pizza” where we now live, that is how Vince explains pizza delivery, the door bell goes ding dong, you open and there is a pizza.
-the IKEA restaurant and the Sweden shop is a lot less attractive when you actually live in Sweden. Living abroad it seems so much more like a Mecca.
-if you are having friends spending the night, they always offer to bring their own sheet?!? (Wtf?)
– it rains a lot. And snows. And is wet. And foggy. And cold again.
– still, it feels good to be home!